Showing posts with label Bible. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bible. Show all posts

Thursday, February 14, 2019

According To The Bible: God Either Changes Or Lies

The following is a real exchange with a Christian Apologist who's written a book and everything.

Christian: If Christianity were true, would you become a Christian?

Me: I would become Christian, but I would try to persuade God to make some changes.

Christian: Because you're so much wiser than omniscient God.

Me: Hey, he occasionally takes the advice of humans in the Bible, and if I was Christian, I would believe that.

Christian: He takes advice from humans? Give me an example.

Me: Exodus 32 shows he changed his plans based on Moses' advice.

(Commentary) In Exodus 32 9 & 10, God says he is angry at the people misbehaving down below and is about to destroy them. Moses advises God to not destroy the people and God listens. Don't take my word of it, read for yourself. There are other biblical examples of God saying is it about to do something and a human talking him out of it, but Exodus is the first that I know.

Christian: I'd hardly call answering a prayer taking advice.

Me: God literally spoke to Moses telling him what he was about to do. Moses persuaded him not to and God did not. What else specifically would you like to see from this exchange to qualify?

Christian: (No comment, links to a GotQuestions which claims God does not change his mind.)

This exchange reminded me that Christian apologetic arguments occasionally conflict with the bible. Apologists depend on maxims like "God does not change" because they support other claims. For example, change denotes time and God is "outside time" and therefore can not change. The author of Exodus wasn't aware of that maxim and therein lies the problem.

Apologists must then make their maxims work within scripture. In this case, if we accept that God does not change, that means he always knew he would say he would destroy those people, listen to Moses, and then not destroy those people. This reasoning, while convoluted, feels comfortable to the apologist in that it fits both God's omniscience and God's unchanging nature within the context of Exodus. But the implications! This means that God knowingly lied to Moses when he said that he was going to destroy those people. God knew that he was not going to destroy those people when he said he was: a textbook lie. An earlier me might argue that God sinned, but I now know how unfruitful that argument is with an apologist. God doesn't sin, full stop, and I can't argue the rules of a made-up concept like sin. God simply lies, which is actually more damning to the Christian worldview. It throws the Word into question. How can we trust what God says given proof that he lies to us?

At this point, the apologist can only argue that God lies to us for some good reason because God is good...he said so...and we can believe him.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sin or Die

Is incest a sin? If you are representative of my primary audience you are probably saying “no.” Nothing is a sin. Sin isn’t a thing. However, think about it from a believer’s incest a sin? I did a small, informal poll and 9 out of 10 Christians believe incest is a sin. That means one of two things to the Christian faith in particular. Let’s look at the possibilities.


God has set up at least two situations in which his creations had to sin in order to not go extinct. Of course, I’m referencing Adam and Eve giving birth to children who then had to have sex with either each other or their parents and Noah and his nuclear family who faced the same choice. The only moral thing to do for our ancestors, from the Christian perspective, was to let the species die off. In fact, since both times the need for incest applied to all but the most asexually reproducing creatures, they all had to sin or die.


Incest is a sin now, but wasn’t in Adam’s and Noah’s time. This gets God out of the position of creating something that he either wanted to die or disobey, questionable motivations for a loving father, but it means that sin is variable. It means that morality is not always constant. This notion throws a wrench into the apologetic premise that moral facts are absolute and moral values are objective.

Christian apologists tell me that certain things are morally right while others are morally wrong not because society defines them as such or even that they conform to God’s whims--but because they are facts of the nature of things. To them, God’s nature informs reality’s nature and God is unchanging. Assuming Christianity is true, incest switching values is profound. Does it mean God’s nature changes? No, it logically cannot. A “nature” is the way one is, without the subject deciding to be that way. If God’s nature changed, who are we saying changed it? They aren’t likely to say a greater deity and if they did, it would move this conundrum to that God. No, it means that the Christian God really does arbitrarily decide good and evil and, at least in this case, flipped the script. Why? Mysterious ways, man. Mysterious ways.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bandwagon Belief

In my experience talking to Christians I’ve learned to not assume I know the beliefs of the individual...with a few exceptions. Every Christian I know believes that Jesus Christ existed, that he was crucified, and that he rose from the dead. From there they vary wildly. A big disagreement is over which Biblical bits are historical and which are fictional stories--beliefs that are dependent on their personal credulity or that of their chosen church.

The resurrection of Christ is so indoctrinated into their culture that it’s unquestioned and taken for granted even when talking snakes and planetary floods are considered too outside the realm of possibility to be seen as factual. This cultural familiarity somehow makes ideas plausible. So lets imagine something unfamiliar.

“Woman gives birth to squid!” How’s that for a headline? Imagine you read that, not as a modern headline, but as an event expressed in a book over a thousand years old. The obvious context is that every woman you’ve ever known has given birth to a human boy or girl, every account from every person since you were born bares out the identical report, and every historical record of births since modern bookkeeping confirms that humans give birth to humans. So would you believe that a woman from antiquity bore an ink-squirting, tentacled baby? Given that, biologically speaking, there is no mechanism for such a birth to be possible, would a Christian believe it?

I doubt neither you nor that Christian would accept such a claim, because it’s absurd, sure, but more importantly it's novel. There is no cultural familiarity with the notion of squid-babies (outside of that one scene in Men in Black.) If everyone you knew happened believed that old squid's tale from childhood....suddenly it becomes plausible. Credulity becomes communal when fitting in is praised over critical thought. I think that's a given. How we change that requires more thought.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

To Falsify Evolution

I recently had a discussion about what it would take to falsify evolution with another atheist. We both agreed that theories based on evidence are all falsifiable by counter-evidence, but we disagreed on the amount of counter-evidence it would take in the case of evolution.

Here is the hypothetical evidence that he believes would falsify the theory: “If we found an organism that clearly breaks out of the evolutionary tree we know. Say - a 5 legged creature, or an animal without DNA, or an animal that has a DNA that doesn’t have any common parts with the rest of the life on earth.”

Such a find would certainly be compelling, but I would first consider that the outlier was created artificially or evolved in isolation of all other known life before throwing out evolutionary theory. As unlikely as either of these sound, they would be more reasonable explanations. To show evolution is false, each line of evidence needs to be overturned. Each aspect of the theory needs to be falsified. Evolution isn’t too big to fail, but it’s certainly too big to die of a single counter-point.*

(*Unless, of course, that counter-point was that all known evidence was found to be lies planted by the Great Deceiver. Positing the devil as a way to reject evolution is one of the more honest and internally consistent methods--if only it wasn’t based entirely on mythology.)

Back to reality...or at least hypothetical reality--even if such a find could impact evolution as a whole, it would revise the theory, maybe falsifying parts, before it would falsify the whole shabang. This happened before with the theory of gravity. Isaac Newton understood gravity in a manner that worked to explain all gravitational first. It didn’t quite work with the solar orbit of Mercury, much like current evolutionary theory wouldn’t work for the aforementioned hypothetical creature. It wasn’t until Einstein hashed out relativity that a new understanding of gravity could account for Mercury. If we one day discover gravitons or something, we might have to adjust gravitational theory further. Edits aside, I can think of no natural evidence regarding either evolution or gravity that could falsify all previous findings that work perfectly well with what we have. Natural selection happens. Mutations occur. Heritability is a thing. If you find a glaring example of uncommon decent, let me know. It could modify evolutionary theory, but smart money says it's an alien.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Asymmetrical Skepticism

Christians are skeptical.

Christians, and theists in general, are skeptical of life arising from non-life and the universe originating from quantum fluctuations they’ve never observed. They don’t feel inclined to believe that consciousness as deep and self-aware as ours can arise through random mutations that are built upon guided by selective pressure.

Don’t make fun of them for this.

They are right to be skeptical of these things. These are counter intuitive concepts with evidence that can’t be assessed directly by laymen and requires a large commitment to gain any competence.

Make fun of them for believing in miracles.

Where does that skeptical instinct they methodically apply to naturalism go in regards to virgin birth, resurrections, and transubstantiation? One one hand they deny living matter arising from unliving matter, but one the other they freely accept living matter arising from non-matter. It’s okay to be extremely skeptical of both--they are extraordinary claims that are so rare that we only have clear reason to believe one or the other happened once in the history of the universe--but be consistent.

Why? What specifically makes walking on water and the magical duplication of bread and fish more believable than quantum mechanics or a multiverse? Why be understandably skeptical about some extraordinary claims and so faithful about a host of others?

I've asked Christians these questions and the answers, when given, are never satisfying. If I had to distill their varied answers to a core principle, it's an emotional connection to their indoctrination. In lieu of understanding, embrace what is comfortable.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Ray Comfort is Exquisitely Deluded

After so many discussions with internet apologists, I decided to engage a "name brand." The following is an exchange I had with Ray Comfort, who is, no exaggeration, the least effectual apologist I've ever met. The point I tried to illustrate was that, while one may have belief in the Christian God, it is impossible to have certain knowledge of him. The blue text is me. The red is Mr. Comfort.

Shortly after telling his followers that they can only assume God is real...

We don't assume there is a God, we KNOW that God exists.

You believe that you know God exists.

No, I KNOW God exists.

That's impossible.

"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:20, KJV).

It's impossible to know that the bible is valid, so the bible saying that the bible is valid or that God is real is worthless.

Because everything that we see proves that God exists, we KNOW God exists. A painting is proof that someone painted it, it didn't come about from nothing. A building is proof that somewhere there was the builder, the building didn't appear from nothing. Because there is all creation, universal laws of logic, morality, physics, information itself, did not come about from nothing - therefore there was a clear Designer, and the Bible tells who that designer was - the Lord God - Jesus Christ.

You say "It's impossible to know that the bible is valid,"  No it's not, and if you keep on arguing without listening, you won't last long here. Because it's obvious you don't like or want the answer, only what your itching ears want to hear.

I've read your stuff. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that you're right about the universe being designed and requiring a designer. Let's even say you're right about the existence of a supernatural entity. It would then be impossible to say anything about this designer, much less that it's Jesus or Yahweh or both. An agency with that power could simply deceive us--forge the bible, forge your own thoughts and faith for that matter.

Philosophically speaking, there is the idea that we can't know things in an absolute sense because we could all be "brains in vats." (Or in the matrix, for a more modern reference.) There could be a set of natural ways that your faith could not truly be your own and everything you think you know could be a lie. If the supernatural is possible, then we could be deceived in an infinite number of ways.

And before you say that Jesus wouldn't deceive, know that what I'm saying is that there is no way to know that Jesus is anything but an implanted, erroneous thought.

Nice try, but your are deceived into thinking that way. That's still no excuse and won't get you out of trouble with the Lord on judgment day. For there is plenty of evidence.

How am I wrong?

You are wrong, because God says you are wrong. God is the ultimate standard, not you, not any science of this earth. His Word is true, yours is not.

But, in light of what I pointed out, how can you be sure that God as you understand him is true?

We know that God is real because He has revealed Himself to us in three ways: in creation, in His Word, and in His Son, Jesus Christ.

And there will be scoffers and skeptics that, for all the evidence before them, still not believe. "The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good."  Psalm 14:1

You told me to listen. All I'm asking is for you to do the same. Did you read my above comment? I know it was a long one, but...

How can you know those revelations were not a deception?

Mr. Comfort had no more to add. He may have been out of his...comfort zone. (see what I did there?)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Faith vs. Force

If I believed the Force was real as completely as theists say they believe their religion is real. I'd be out staring at rocks all fricking day thinking "Go up! Fly! Levitate dammit!" I'd be reading the grocery lists of Jedis--anything to get a handle on this power. Hell, if it didn't work out after a couple years of daily training, I'd even give the Sith a shot.

Christians claim to have complete faith in the word of God, but generally don't even spend the time to learn the original languages in which the Bible was written. They read translations of translations, sure (or more commonly listen to someone else's interpretation once a week), but I don't find that convincing. Maybe they aren't so convinced. Maybe we aren't so different.

I was a Christian Scientist, a denomination that taught God's power and influence was more attainable then the average flavor of Christianity. If I lived by the values of Jesus I could, with complete faith, do as Christ did with God working through me. The analogue to Star Wars is very appropriate. Live like a Jedi and when you truly believe you can lift a rock with your mind, it will happen. JC's disciples were the Jedi of the Bible, healing folks long after the ascension.

I tried healing myself and others as a Christian Scientist. Surprise, surprise, it didn't work. The theological out for my failure was that I didn't have enough faith that it would work. I agreed there. More than that, I knew I was fundamentally incapable of complete faith in what I found unbelievable. So I embraced my disbelief and here I am.

Sometimes I think the vast majority of theists, if not all, are also incapable of complete faith in their supernatural stories. I would think an underlying skepticism in that which is contrary to experience is a feature of human nature. Surely there is selective pressure for it, evolutionarily speaking. The question is, how to get them to embrace their disbelief and move on?

Or maybe they just need to believe a little harder and start levitating rocks. ;-)

Monday, January 13, 2014

"How can you judge something as immoral without a divine moral foundation?"

Some theists claim that when atheists judge the character of God in the Bible as immoral, they show that they have a sense of objective morality which could only be present if God is a foundation for morality.

By claiming this they are implying that the atheist's judgement is objectively correct. These theists either must agree that God is objectively immoral or admit that the atheist's judgement isn't objectively true thereby discounting their claim that the atheist's judgement shows that we have a sense of objective morality.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Diluvian Math

The following is a post by Google+ user Rick Rab in which he goes over what it might take if the biblical flood was be found in the nonfiction section. I didn't check the math, nor did I proofread. I barely practice journalism in any sense of the word.

Was it really possible to put the animals in the biblical ark?

Let’s start with a horse, say 1000lbs weight. It requires 17.5lb of hay and 10lb of grain per day per 1000lb of its weight. So for 40 days it requires 700lb of hay and 400lb of grain. Baled hay occupies about 10lb per cu ft. Oats (whole) occupy iro 26lb per cu ft. So its food alone required 85 cu ft. Modern rules require 350 cu ft space per horse, let’s say Noah gave it ½ that, 175 cu ft, so per horse he needed 260 cu ft. Let’s add a token 10 cu ft for its water. Total 270 cu ft per horse.

Now the big sums... Ok, not all animals are horse sized so let’s half that just to be nice…13.5 cu ft per animal, Oh sod it, let's be really nice, let’s half it again…. 7 cu ft per animal, inc its food & water.

There are (at present knowledge) about 8.7 million known types of animal. God of course would know the exact amount but let’s work on 8.7 million. Before you suggest there were less in those days, creationists don’t believe in evolution, so where could any extra have come from?? But ok, let’s be really nice, to please them, let’s half that figure too… 4.3million types. So if Noah packed in 2 of every animal, real tight, with no passageways and nowhere for humans to live, he would’ve needed 60,200,000 cu ft.

God spelt out to Noah the dimensions of the ark; 300 cubits by 50 by 30, approximately 137 x 23 x 14 metres (440 feet long, 73 ft wide, and 43 ft high). That’s 1,281,160 cu ft.  Oh dear, even with all those massive concessions, Noah would've still needed to have built 47 of those Arks! God’s not very good at maths, is he?

The ark has  1,281,160 cu ft. of space
There are 8,700,000 species.
So each specie (and remember some were more than the '2 by 2') would have had 0.147 cu ft of space.

So what about the flood itself? Was that possible?

The world was flooded by god, to a depth at least permitting the Ark to settle on top of Mt Ararat. That Mountain is 5,137 m in elevation. The surface area of the world is 510,072,000 km² (510,072,000, 000 m x 1m) so the water had to fill 2,620,239,864,000,000 m3. Wait, didn’t account for existing mountains etc I hear you say. OK, let’s ½ that to allow for everything; 1,310,119,932,000,000 m3 of water.

Let’s convert that to ice (so we can stack it, say on Africa). To convert  to ice, divide by 0.92… that makes 1,424,043,404,347,826 m3 of ice. The surface area of Africa is 30,221,532 km² (30,221,532,000 m2).

So to fit all that ice on Africa, we would have to stack it 47,120.16 m high. Mt Everest is 8,848 m, so the ice would be stacked, over the area of all of Africa, 5.3 times the height of Mt Everest!

  • Where was that Ice before it thawed?
  • Where did it go when it ‘ebbed away’?
Gen 7:11–12  & 7:17–20; Rain fell for 40 days, water covered the earth’s highest places by over 20 ft (15 cubits) .
The first 40 days and nights (3rd month, 27th day of month)

Gen 7:24–8:5; water rose to its highest level (covering the whole earth), and the Ark rested on Ararat. On the 150th day, the springs of the great deep were shut off, and the rain from above ceased, and the water began continually receding.
150 days (inc. the initial 40 days total so far) (7th month, 17th day of month)

Gen 8:5; tops of the mountains became visible on the 10th month, 1st day.
That’s 74 days more (= 224 so far) (10th month, 1st day of month)

Gen 8:6; After 40 more days, Noah sent out a raven.
That's 40 days more (= 264 so far) (11th month, 11th day of month)

Gen 8:6–12; The dove was sent out 7 days after the raven. It had no resting place and returned to Noah.
That's 7 days more (=271 so far) (11th month, 18th day of month)

Gen 8:10–11; After 7 more days, Noah sent out the dove again. It returned again, with an olive leaf in its beak.
That' 7 days mor e (= 278 so far) (11th month, 25th day of month)

Gen 8:12; After 7 more days, Noah sent out the dove again, and it did not return.
That's 7 days more (= 285 so far) (12th month, 2nd day of month)

Gen 8:13; Noah removed the cover of the Ark on the 1st day of the 1st month. The surface of the earth was dried up, and Noah could verify this to the extent of what he could see.
That’s 29 days more (=314 so far) (, 1st month, 1st day of month. NB; 601st year of Noah’s life)

Gen 8:14–17 & 7:11; the earth was dry, God commanded Noah’s family and the animals to come out of the Ark. From the 1st day of the year during the daylight portion there were 29.5 more days left in the month plus 26.5 more days left in the 2nd month until the exit, so that’s 56 days more (= 370 (371 if counting 1st day and last day as full days) (2nd month, 27th day of month).

So the flood was actually over a period of 370 days. The animals were in the ark all that time.  The maths in PART 1 only gave food for 40 days. But now we know it was in fact 370. Let’s see how that affects the ark...

Horse…..for  370 days it requires  6475 lb of hay and 3700 lb of grain..…food alone required 786 cu ft…..Total 961 cu ft per horse.…half that… 480.5 cu ft….half it again…. 240.25 cu ft per animal, inc its food & water.

8.7 million known types of animal ….half that…. 4.3million .....So Noah...would’ve needed 1033,075,000  cu ft.…..

Noah would've needed to have built at least 807 of those Arks!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

God's Nature: Moral or Imaginary?

I recently joined a Google+ community meant to educate people on counter apologetics. This was my first post.

Here is a way to dismantle the moral argument for God without getting into the subjective vs. objective morality debate.

A more traditional take on the Euthyphro dilemma, a classic problem of the moral argument for God:
If God chooses what is good, does God have a reason for the actions to which he assigns a good value? If so, why can humans not come to the same reason? If not, then someone (God, in this case) arbitrarily assigned good and bad values, which is exactly what theists think is the problem with subjective morality. 
Modern apologists rarely say God decided anything, rather they claim what is morally good is simply part of God's nature. They expect this negates the dilemma. It doesn't. For this reason I recommend presenting a formation more like below to stay with the times.
If God's nature is good and it could be no other way...who made God's nature as such? If someone made God's nature good, then we should probably worship that God...if only we could know why that God made good what it is. There's a potential infinite regress of moral responsibility here which explains nothing. However, if no one made God's nature good, then it's possible for beings to have good natures without a higher being making them as such. Therefore, the same can apply to us.
It's a small distinction that most people should be able to come to on their own, but apologists are highly motivated to not think about how their arguments might fail. We need to show them, repeatedly.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Would I Play By God's Rules If I Knew He Was Real?

If I could know that the Christian God exists, would I worship him? Let’s explore the angles.

Why I should not worship Jehovah:

Regardless of apologetic talking points, the God of the Bible is imperfect. He makes mistakes and he contradicts himself. Between creating a talking serpent that thwarts his own plan and feeling the need to sacrifice himself (or his son, depending on who you ask) to change his own rules of eternity, God has done little to inspire worship. I would also have to excuse divine choices that I fundamentally disagree with--like allowing anyone to suffer infinitely for finite sins. I imagine some of those suffering I even knew in life. Complying with God’s wishes and humbling myself to him would be like a German with freshly dead Jewish friends admitting allegiance to Hitler.

Why I should worship Jehovah:

While their commitment to extreme punishment for those they consider distasteful is on par, God and Hitler have some major differences. God forgives and shows mercy as long as you follow his strict criteria. I doubt Hitler would consistently allow Jews to live even if they all agreed to become Nazis. Also, unlike Hitler, we wouldn’t be here if not for God. The man upstairs also managed to impart some positive life lessons, so perhaps the Almighty deserves at least as much respect as my parents. More than this, the nummero uno reason why I am compelled to worship Jehovah is because I will go to hell if I don’t. Yes, heaven also factors in, but the stick is more compelling then the carrot in this case.

Weighing the options. I completely understand the anti-theists who call God evil, but I wouldn’t go that far. Yes, he kills humans, but I kill bugs. I eat cows and chicken and delicious, delicious pigs. I don’t consider myself evil so I would be hypocritical to call God evil. We are inferior to him in all respects (unless you include human-centric morality.) I can call God irresponsible, unfair, even cruel--but not evil. When it comes down to it, I would be completely unprincipled and play according to God’s rules, yet I think I would. I’m not proud of it. I am fully aware how that makes me a Nazi, but I’m also aware how it doesn’t. I like to think I would have sacrificed everything to fight Hitler even as a German under the pressure of death and threat to my family. I think I would because I could have rationalized that Hitler could be overthrown and any contribution to that cause is worth anything. I can’t rationalize that the Almighty can be overthrown. It’s right there in the name, all mighty. I would worship an erratic tyrant and try desperately to convince others to follow suit because no cost or benefit in our x number of years on earth compare to the forever after. To keep some scrap of dignity I would tell myself that one day in heaven I’ll be able to talk some sense into God...that won't happen. Mostly because Jehovah doesn’t fucking exist.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Reasonable Doubt

*America doesn't make witnesses do this in court anymore, but we used to. This meme is now horribly out of date. That said, I believe "so help me God" is still used and Presidents almost always swear in using the bible.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

On Persecution

After the man we know as Jesus kicked the bucket, his followers had a hard road ahead. The ruling class was largely unimpressed by the alleged miracles and sought to suppress speech and action that could be seen as revolutionary or offensive to their god of choice. Early Christians would meet in secret for their safety at a kind of church speakeasy. I imagine the first rule of Christ Club was that you did not talk about Christ Club. When met with a newcommer, they faced a dilemma. Should they turn away a person of faith or reveal themselves to a potential sting operation?

I doubt what follows is the invention of the secret handshake (especially since hands aren’t involved,) but it was likely an early iteration of the concept. Here’s how it went down: A Christian would draw an arch in the sand with his sandal, then a second Christian would reveal himself as a friend by drawing an intersecting arch--making what we would recognize as the Jesus fish in the sand.

A Catholic priest told me this story. It may or may not be true. I don’t have a great track record gaining accurate information from clergy. Since this tale contains no miracles and Snopes wasn’t around back then, I’ll at least accept it’s premise. Christians were persecuted. They are still persecuted in some parts of the world, Muslim countries for example. You know who else are persecuted in Muslim countries? Atheists and Jews and, well, non-Muslims. Every minority viewpoint that runs contrary to the majority is persecuted.

What gets me is that Christians in America still say they are persecuted. Relatively speaking, that is ridiculous. We just came out of an election year where one of the more accepted-as-kooky Christian sects. Mormons, had a candidate that almost won! To the so-called persecuted Christians out there, what chance would an open atheist have had running on the Republican ticket? None. Zero. Come 2016, there isn’t a political advisor in the country, Democrats included, that would recommend coming out as atheist prior to election.

“Coming out.” We actually have a name for the reveal of our divine disbelief. Technically, we share the term with gays...who I should mention are far better represented in the media then atheists. Out of the 20 proud atheists I've interviewed, only seven use their full real name--or should I say at most seven, I haven't confirmed even those names aren't aliases. Each blogger has put a ton of time into their projects and can barely take credit of them because of the association to their real life could bring negative consequences. It's sad. And here I am, Grundy. No, my parents weren't mean enough to name me Grundy, but if they knew the extent of atheist activism I engage in, I would never hear the end of it. I am forced to live with an alias and not teach my mom how to use a computer.

If you're a put-upon Christian or make-believe martyr, I don't want to hear it. My country is one where those who don't accept a history of magic are pariahs.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Revelation

Yeah, so remember my Easter post? You should, it was yesterday.

I’ll come right out and say it, I had a revelation. My Easter post was meant as a snarky set-up for a post about the impotency of prayer. Looking back at where I was when I wrote it, I feel like a fool...and yet, I’m very grateful that it was written. It lead me to my revelation.

I don’t know where to begin writing. My hands are just on auto-pilot, so bear with me. (I wonder if this is how the authors of the Bible felt.) The atheist perspective is that prayer can’t be meaningful because people can and do pray against each other. For example, I pray for Team A to win while someone else prays for Team B to win. Since we can't know what the Lord has planned, it's even possible for us to pray against God’s will. I still think this is a valid point, to a degree, but I can’t ignore the coincidence of it. My reader's prayers were answered, they just can't be quantified. God always knew this would be when I was saved and He also knew I would be prayed for. In this way, I know your prayers helped. If you didn't pray for me, you may ask "how do you know I was prayed for in the first place?" I could feel it! No, I’m not that connected to the divine just yet. I read it. I received an Easter email from a Christian that told me exactly what I needed to hear. I have since wrote him back asking for permission to post his letter, in hopes it will touch my many atheist readers like it has touched me. So far, no response. It will have to wait for another post.

You should know that I went to church with my wife’s Catholic family on Sunday. As an atheist, I generally agreed to show up on holidays to spend time with the in-laws, secretly critiquing the homily in my mind. I couldn’t think of anything this time around. Strangely, I drew a blank. The service all happened so fast, very different from how I usually feel it drag on. I left the church an atheist, same as always--but in a daze.

Family dinner was pleasant, the evening went well. I barely had a concept for my life changing. In my interviews with Christians-turned-atheists, I've learned the change is usually gradual. From cult to mainstream to liberal believer to agnostic to atheist. I wonder if the conversion to atheism moves slowly because it is unnatural or against God's will. Either way, the Lord provided me the perspective needed to hasten my reconversion.

Did I have an “a-ha,” or perhaps an “amen!” moment? If I did, it happened between the hours of 11pm and 5am. I woke up with  the force of knowledge only an epiphany of this magnitude could deliver. My revelation? It was the first of April. All Fools' Day.